The following is a statement from Chanté Coleman, director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition, on the recent announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency on the Chesapeake Bay Midpoint Assessment:
“Since 2010, the Chesapeake Bay watershed has seen major improvements. The most recent report cards on the state of rivers like the Potomac, James, and even the Anacostia, indicate marked improvements. By improving the health of our local waterways, we are reaping the benefits in the Chesapeake Bay. The number of acres of bay grasses is at a record high, which not only filters out pollution but provides critical habitat for blue crabs, striped bass and is a food source for the more than one million migratory waterfowl in the watershed. In this day and age, clean water is not something that just happens. It is the result of commitment, dedication and hard work by all of us.
Even though we are clearly seeing progress, we are behind in meeting the 2025 pollution reduction goals set by the states and the federal government. During the first half of this restoration effort, the states and District of Columbia have focused on much needed upgrades to their sewage treatment facilities. These upgrades have resulted in large reductions in pollution entering our waterways. However, sewage treatment is only a piece of the puzzle. In order to fully restore our rivers and streams, we must turn our attention to pollution from agriculture and urban and suburban runoff.
Anyone who cares about clean water must push our elected officials to continue the progress that is being made and to accelerate efforts where progress is lagging, like in Pennsylvania. The Choose Clean Water Coalition is working with our more than 240 members across the watershed to ensure that the states receive the critical resources that they need to achieve their goals. We have come a long way and we need to finish the job; that means that all of the states must meet their goals by 2025.”
The Choose Clean Water Coalition, an organization that harnesses the collective power of more than 230 local, state, regional and national groups to advocate for clean rivers and streams in all communities in the Chesapeake region.